The Last Will and Testament of Moses Wolford (1777 – 1845)

Moses Wolford, my 5th great grandfather, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and died in 1845 in Coshocton, Ohio. His last will and testament was written in the last year of his life and upon his death, probated in Coshocton County’s probate court.

Will of Moses Wolford Dec’d

Will & Probate

The state of Ohio                                                        Court of common Pleas
Coshocton County                                                     October Term to wit on the
23rd day of October A.S. 1845

Be it remembered that on the day & year aforesaid. The last will and testament of Moses Wolford late of Cochocton County dec. was this day produced in writing and Joseph Hardiman & Jacob [J/I?] Kennedy, credible witnesses thereunto being in open court duly sworn & severelly examined & whose testimony was taken in writing and signed & duly filed and is appearing to the court from the above testimony of said witnesses that said last will and testament was duly executed. that the testament of the time of executing the same was of full age, of sound mind & memory, and not under any restraint. & is by the court ordered that said last will and testament, together with the proof thereof be recorded by the clerk of this Court.

Which said last will and testament is in the words and [figures] following to wit,

I, Moses Wolford of Bedford Township, Coshocton County, in the state of Ohio, do make and publish this, my last Will and Testament in manner and form following, that is to say. First, it is my will that my funeral expenses and all my just debts be fully paid. Second, I give and devise and bequeath to my beloved wife [NANCY] ANN WOLFORD in lieu of her dower, that is to say she is to remain in the house where she now lives, and share the sole control of the same during her natural life, and to have one fourth of the produce that is raised on the said farms, that is to say the north east quarter of section twenty four of township number five and range number eight in the military district of lands directed to be sold at Zanesville, Ohio, containing by estimation one hundred and sixty acres [purchased 1815, per description above], during her natural life,  [the produce being] the wheat, rye, oats by the bushel at her house, corn when husked to be put in a crib where she may direct on the place, hay in the stack and potatoes when dug where she may direct, to have what fruit she may need for summer and fall use and for drying, etc. when there is fruit and the one fourth of the winter fruit for buring, etc, and the sixth part of the sugar that may make [sic] to delivered to her at her house, and live stock, two cows, six sheep, six head of hogs, stock to be pastured and kept on the place, also all the household and kitchen furniture and other items not particularly named and otherwise disposed of in this will, during her natural life as aforesaid, and that at the death of my said wife, all of the property hereby devised or bequeathed to her as aforesaid or so much as there may then remain unexpended after paying her funeral expenses and costs, debts, etc. contracted for her use, I wish to be sold by my executor hereafter named and the proceeds to be equally divided among my children, namely ELIJAH WOLFORD, GODFREY WOLFORD, JEREMIAH WOLFORD, MOSES WOLFORD, MATHIAS WOLFORD, BARBARA CLOUSE, ELIZABETH GONSAR, MARGARET WOLFORD, SARAH WOLFORD and HARRIET WOLFORD, and to their heirs and assigns forever share and share alike. Third, I give and devise to by two sons MOSES and JEREMIAH WOLFORD the quarter section as above named whereon I now live, to be equally divided between them by running a straight line through the center from east to west of said quarter, [MOSES] to have the north and JEREMIAH the south part of said quarter by paying their brother ELIJAH WOLFORD one hundred dollars each within three years after probate of this will, these bequeaths intended to make them equal to my two sons GODFREY WOLFORD [father of Elijah Clarence Sr] and MATHIAS WOLFORD, who have deed for their portions of lands in other tracts. Fourth, I give and devise to my daughters BARBARA CLOUSE, ELIZABETH GONSAR, MARGARET, SARAH AND HARRIETT WOLFORD, my eighty acres of land, being the south half of the north west quarter of section number twenty three in township number five, range eight in the military district of land directed to be sold at Zaneville, Ohio, [purchased by Moses in 1831, as described above], said land to be sold as soon as convenient by my executors and the proceeds thereof be divided amongst my said daughters, so that BARBARA CLOUSE shall have fifty dollars and ELIZABETH GONSAR forty dollars less than the others in the division.  BARBARA CLOUSE and ELIZABETH GONSAR received the aforesaid amounts already more than the others. Fifth, I give and devise and dispose of the rest and residue of my property not yet bequeathed in the following manner (IE) my will is that it be sold by my executors as the law directs and the proceeds arising therefrom to be applied to the payment of my debts and other incidental expenses, then my widow to have the one equal share and the other two thirds to be equally divided among my children as follows, to wit:  ELIJAH and GODFREY WOLFORD, MOSES and MATHIAS WOLFORD, BARBARA CLOUSE, ELIZABETH GONSAR, MARGARET, SARAH, and HARRIET WOLFORD share and share alike.  The last bequests to make them equal to their brother JEREMIAH WOLFORD, having got his share already, this last article not to be understood to embrace any of the property left in this will to my widow, and lastly I hereby constitute and appoint my two sons JEREMIAH and MOSES WOLFORD to be my executor for this my last will and testament revoking and annulling all former wills by me made and ratifying and confirming this and no other to be my last will and testament.

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 27th day of January Eighteen Hundred and Forty Two.

MOSES “X” WOLFORD [signed]

Signed published & declared by the above named Moses Wolford as and for his last will & testament in presence of us who at his required have signed and [written] to the same.

Source:
Coshocton County, Ohio, Probate Court Record Book Volume D, 1837-1846, p 444, Last Will and Testament of Moses Wolford, 1845; “Ohio, Wills and Probate Records, 1786-1998,” digital images, Ancestry.com (Ancestry.com : accessed 29 Oct 2015) http://interactive.ancestry.com/8801/005449235_00252/8333841?backurl=http://person.ancestry.com/tree/28087067/person/5130324954/facts/citation/122815735528/edit/record.

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The Wolfords Between 1920 and 1930

Stanton Maines Wolford was born on 23 or 24 April 1864 in Indiana, a son of James Mathias and Harriett (Maines) Wolford. He died on 6 September 1946 in Topeka, Kansas. He was married to Henrietta Rogers on 6 December 1886 in Winchester, Illinois. They had at least nine children, including Viola Agnes, Hubert, Harry, Homer, Royal, Eva, Mabel, Raymond, and an unnamed or name unknown daughter who died around the time of her birth. In 1920, Stanton was living in Soldier Township, Shawnee, Kansas.

Summary of Research Findings
Stanton and Harriet Maines Wolford were a blue-collar, middle-class family living in Soldier Township outside Topeka, Kansas in both 1920 and 1930. The wages the family earned through Stanton’s work as a carpenter were sufficient for him to own a home. In 1930 that home was sufficiently large enough for eleven people to live there, including Stanton and Harriett and the families of two of their children. In 1930, only one of the neighboring homes had a boarder, indicating a financial means throughout the neighborhood that did not require supplemental income.

Itemized Research Findings
Stanton M. Wolford household, 1920 Soldier Township, Shawnee, Kansas, census[1]
Stanton M. Wolford was a 55-year-old carpenter when he was enumerated in his house in 1920. The family was living in Soldier Township, Shawnee, Kansas, when the census enumerator visited the household. The census date was 1 January, and the enumerator visited the household on 5 February.

Census image showing some of the facts

Wolford1920

 

 

Information obtained from the census
Fifty-five year old Stanton Wolford was a white male born in Indiana, as were his parents. He was a carpenter, working “any where,” presuming meaning as a general carpenter for hire. He owned his own home, free of a mortgage. All adults in the household could speak English, read, and write.

Stanton’s wife Henrietta was a white female born in Illinois, as were her parents. Her occupation was listed as “none.”

Homer Wolford, aged 23, was Stanton’s oldest son living in the household. Homer was single. He was born in Illinois, as was his mother. Homer’s father was born in Indiana. Homer worked as a meat cutter at a fresh market.

Eva Wolford, aged 16, was Stanton’s daughter. Eva was born in Kansas and was employed as a clerk for the telephone company. Eva’s father was born in Indiana and her mother in Illinois.

Mabel Wolford, aged 14, was Stanton’s daughter. Mabel was born in Kansas and was in school. Mabel’s father was born in Indiana and her mother in Illinois.

Raymond Wolford, aged 10, was Stanton’s youngest son living in the household. Raymond was born in Kansas and was in school within the last year. Raymond’s father was born in Indiana and his mother in Illinois.

 

Other Wolford families in Shawnee County
There was one additional household in Shawnee County with the surname Wolford in 1920.[2] Herbert Wolford (aged 29 years) was born in Illinois, as were his parents. Working as a laborer in a planing mill, he was able to own his own home, for which he had a mortgage. He spoke English and was able to read and write.

Herbert was married to Bertha H. Twenty-seven year old Bertha was born in Indiana, as were her parents. She had no occupation, spoke English, and was able to read and write.

Herbert’s son Merle D. was 4 6/12 years old. Merle was born in Kansas, while his father was born in Illinois and his mother in Indiana.

The neighbors
Stanton’s neighbors in 1920 were a mix of blue and white collar, with two occupied as mail carriers (one a rural carrier), a bank clerk, a laborer in a packinghouse, two laborers of any kind, a schoolteacher, a bookkeeper, a bookstore clerk, and one farmer. No fewer than nine neighbors worked for the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad or other railroads; three men worked as clerks, one as a brakeman, one as a machinist, one as a switchman, and one as a boilermaker. They were all born in the United States and largely in Kansas. Several born in the neighboring states of Missouri, Nebraska, or Iowa. The residents owned eleven homes and nine were rented. Only one household contained a boarder; the head of the household was a widow, who lived there with her three children. This is indicative of a neighborhood that generally had sufficient income and did not need the supplemental money that a boarder would provide.

Stanton Wolford household, 1930 Soldier Township, Shawnee, Kansas, census[3]
In 1930, Stanton M. Wolford was a 65-year-old carpenter when he was enumerated in his home. The family was living on Polk Street in Soldier Township, Shawnee, Kansas, when the 1930 census enumerator visited the household. The census date was 1 April, and the enumerator visited the household on 24 April. All of the adults in the household can read, write, and speak English, and none had attended school since 29 September 1929.

Census image showing some of the facts

Wolford1930

Information obtained from the census
Sixty-five year old Stanton M. Wolford was a white male born in Indiana. His father was born in Pennsylvania and his mother was born in Indiana. He was a carpenter, working in a planing mill. He owned his own home valued at $2,500, which was not set on a farm. The family owned a radio set. He was 22 years old at the age of first marriage. He was not a veteran.

Stanton’s wife Henrietta, aged 60, was a white female born in Illinois, as were her parents. Her occupation was listed as “none.” She was 18 years old at the age of first marriage.

Eva R. Wolford, aged 26, was Stanton’s daughter. Eva was born in Kansas. Her father was born in Indiana and her mother in Illinois. Eva was previously employed as a stenographer for the Capital Iron Company, but she was not working at the time of enumeration.

Raymond H. Wolford, aged 20, was Stanton’s youngest son living in the household. He was born in Kansas, while his father was born in Indiana and his mother in Illinois. Raymond was employed as a laborer in a creamery. He was not a veteran.

Stanton’s son Harry led a second family in the same household[4]. Harry was a 35-year-old widower employed as a laborer in a retail store. He was born in Illinois, while his father was born in Indiana and his mother in Illinois. He had four children, including a son Merwin (aged 13 years), a son Keelin (aged 11 years), a daughter Winifred (aged 9 years) and a son Billie (aged 4 years). All of the children were born in Kansas, along with their mother. Their father was born in Illinois.

All of the children except Billie were attending school. Merwin and Keelin could read and write; nothing was indicated for Winifred and Billie in this field as the enumerator’s instructions directed it be left blank for persons less than 10 years of age.[5]

Stanton’s daughter Mable [sic] was enumerated as the head of a third household within the dwelling[6]. Mable B. (Wolford) Stanley was a 24-year-old widow in 1930. She was born in Kansas, while her father was born in Indiana and her mother in Illinois. She last worked as a cutter in a tent and awning factory but was unemployed when the enumerator visited.

Mable’s daughter Doris (aged 4) was born in Kansas, as were her parents.

Other Wolford families in Shawnee County
Stanton Wolford’s neighbors included the family of one of his sons. Homer B. and Edna Wolford lived on Taylor Street, which runs parallel and one block west of Polk Street.[7] Both Homer and Edna were 33 years old and married at age 27. Homer was born in Illinois; his father was born in Indiana and his mother in Illinois. He was employed as a salesman in a grocery store. Edna was born in Iowa, as were her parents. She was not employed. Homer and Edna had no children in 1930.[8]

 

The neighbors
This neighborhood of Soldier Township was comprised principally of blue-collar families. Professions listed include a farmer, a Shawnee County deputy sheriff, a salesman for a grocery, a shipping clerk in a hardware store, a produce buyer, a store operator, a stenographer for the power company, a bus driver, a baggage man on the railroad, and two other laborers in a creamery. All of the neighbors reported they could read and write and none of them were veterans.

 

The majority of the neighbors were born in Kansas, Illinois, Indiana, or Missouri. John Covington and his family, except their youngest daughter, were born in Tennessee. The daughter, Elizabeth, was born in Kansas. No neighbors were born outside the United States; all were U.S. citizens.

 

Suggestions for Further Research

  • Determine which areas of Soldier Township were annexed by the city of Topeka, specifically the annexation by Topeka in 1946. This can be used to more accurately determine the location of the homes occupied by the Wolford families in 1930.
  • Determine the identities of Harry Wolford and Mabel Wolford Stanley spouses as well as their respective dates and causes of death.
  • Settle the discrepancy in place of birth for Stanton Wolford’s father. The 1920 Census indicated Indiana while the 1930 Census indicates Pennsylvania.

 

Sources:

[1] 1920 U.S. census, Soldier Township, Shawnee County, Kansas, population schedule, enumeration district (ED) 150, sheet 17A (penned), dwelling 398, family 402, Stanton Wolford; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 28 January 2016), citing NARA microfilm publication T625, roll 550.

[2] 1920 U.S. census, Soldier Township, Shawnee County, Kansas, population schedule, enumeration district (ED) 148, sheet 6A (penned), dwelling 120, family 120, Herbert Wolford; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 29 January 2016), citing NARA microfilm publication T625, roll 550.

[3] 1930 U.S. census, Soldier Township, Shawnee County, Kansas, population schedule, enumeration district (ED) 89-14, sheet 11A (penned), 112 (stamped), dwelling 258, family 262, Stanton Wolford; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 29 Jan 2016), citing FHL microfilm 2340457.

[4] 1930 U.S. census, Soldier Township, Shawnee County, Kansas, population schedule, enumeration district (ED) 89-14, sheet 11A (penned), 112 (stamped), dwelling 258, family 263, Harry Wolford; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 29 Jan 2016), citing FHL microfilm 2340457.

[5] Steven Ruggles, Katie Genadek, Ronald Goeken, Josiah Grover, and Matthew Sobek. Integrated Public Use Microdata Series: Version 6.0 [Machine-readable database]. “1930 Census: Enumerator’s Instructions,” Minneapolis : University of Minnesota, 2015.

[6] 1930 U.S. census, Soldier Township, Shawnee County, Kansas, population schedule, enumeration district (ED) 89-14, sheet 11A (penned), 112 (stamped), dwelling 258, family 264, Mable Wolford; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 29 Jan 2016), citing FHL microfilm 2340457.

[7] Google. (n.d.). [Google Maps showing location of Taylor Street and Polk Street in Topeka, Shawnee, Kansas]. Retrieved 29 January 2016, from https://goo.gl/maps/yXEjosRzNL42.

[8] 1930 U.S. census, Soldier Township, Shawnee County, Kansas, enumeration district (ED) 89-14, sheet 11A (penned), 112 (stamped), dwelling 251, family 255, Homer Wolford; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 29 Jan 2016), citing FHL microfilm 2340457.

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday – The Quilt

My great grandmother Caroline Porbusky Wolford loved to make quilts. She made this beauty as a gift to my grandparents Howard and Barb Witt. It was presented to them the night before my parents’ wedding. In this photo are, from left to right, my grandmother Barb Wolford Witt Viti, grandfather Howard Witt, uncle Tom Witt, great grandmother Wolford, my mom and (I think) two unknown relatives in the right foreground.

The Wedding Announcement of Howard Witt and Barbara Wolford

“Chantilly lace and a pretty face…”

After their wedding in my grandmother’s hometown of Topeka, Kansas, my grandparents Barb and Howard Witt lived in his hometown of Youngstown, Ohio. Complete with a picture, the Vindicator wrote a nice story of their return.

(click to enlarge)
Source:
“Bridal Couple To Be Honored At Witt Home,” Youngstown Vindicator, Section C, Page 3. September 14, 1952, accessed January 6, 2013. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=2s0_AAAAIBAJ&sjid=AFgMAAAAIBAJ&dq=wolford%20topeka&pg=744%2C3287947

Wordless Wednesday: Genealogy Trips!

About 20 years ago, three generations of Wolford women made a trip to the courthouse in Coshocton, Ohio to find details of my great grandparents’ lives. No information was found, but it made for a great photo. My great grandmother Caroline Probusky Wolford, aunt Marie Witt Dockry, mom Rebecca Witt Lowry, aunt Julie Witt Sofranko and grandmother Barbara Wolford Witt Viti.
About:
Wordless Wednesday is usually just a quick post with a photo and a caption. Nothing special, just something fun to look at and look back on…